If you’re like me, from time to time, we make bad decisions. I don’t like it when I make a bad decision & I like the consequences even less. But what is worse than making a bad decision is not learning from such mistakes. So here’s a few things that might be helpful when dealing with bad decisions:
*mistakes & failures are an essential ingredient of success
*beating yourself up over mistakes adds zero value – own the mistake & mistake & move on
*blaming someone else tends to minimize our personal learning experience with the mistake or bad decision
*dont let the fear of a bad decision or mistakes paralyze you from trying
*consider all the people in the Bible who made mistakes & you’ll start feeling better quickly ,)
This morning I read about Zacheus, the wee little man who climbed up in a syacmore tree, so that he could get a better glimpse of Jesus. In this very brief story, we see that Zacheus was a tax collector & not popular with the general public (maybe like our IRS – smile). Nevertheless, his interest in Jesus compelled him to do something that was out of the ordinary – maybe he was used to doing these kinds of things since he was a wee little man ,)
Whatever was his normal behavior, he caught Jesus’ attention and Jesus was happy to visit Zacheus’ house – the beginning of Zacheus’ transformation. When we genuinely look for & accept Jesus for Who He really is, then our lives change. Our relationship with Jesus is about living a transformational life more than being a religious follower of Jesus 🙂
When I look at Jesus’ life, He left LOTS of results: healings, redemption, restoration, forgiveness, resurrection and BOATLOADS more!!! It seems to me that wherever Jesus went, He left a trail of astounding, outrageous and highly desirable results. Because of these results, He was quite popular. Get around Jesus and:
- your blindness will be removed;
- your brokenness will be repaired;
- your deafness will be healed;
- your death will be resurrected along with SO MUCH MORE!
Like the people in Jesus’ day, I think we all want these things in our lives. But also like the people in Jesus’ day, I’m not so sure that we always want the Cause of these results. In actual truth, Jesus had very few followers compared to the amazing number of fans who liked Him for His results. When we become legitimate followers of Jesus, we are continually changing and making adjustments so that Jesus can have more maneuvering space in our lives – increasing His presence / Cause and His effects 🙂
Don’t settle for the special effects when you can have the Original Cause 🙂
A few years ago, I did a fair amount of fasting & was totally enthralled with the amazing spiritual experiences I had from fasting. I have to say that some of these experiences were nothing short of indescribable & I quickly became a fasting advocate.
Here are some quick benefits from spiritual fasting: I hear & sense God more fully, there’s an intimacy with God that’s deeply satisfying & I wrestle out some questions & challenges.
So here’s a few quick practical points for spiritual fasting:
*spiritual fasting isn’t the same as dieting so it should include some extra praying & time spent w God
*fasting can happen in lots of configurations: Daniel fast (no meats & sweets – Dan 9-10), a meal a day, fasting social media, etc
*drink lots of water & be patient
*consider keeping a journal during your fast & pay extra attention to what God is saying & to God’s presence
Sometimes I can get discouraged when I look at problems that seem to have no answers & sometimes I can get overwhelmed by some challenges that seem insurmountable. Ever feel the same? During my prayer time this morning, I was reminded about how God had a sheep waiting for Abraham when he was about to sacrifice Isaac. This story reminds me that God has solutions, provisions & wisdom waiting for me when various needs can become urgent. In the meantime, rather than fretting, getting stressed out & uptight about various problems, I can change my thinking to being grateful & appreciative that God has already provided answers & resources. When I’m thankful, I’m a better traveling companion with God during the journey of life rather than being stressed out 🙂
I haven’t talked much about my dad on this blog, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking if him. Of course I thought of him over the Christmas season & at various times with church & family stuff. So here are a few things from my dad that I miss:
*most of all I miss his faith strength – I never knew him to be negative, to give up or lose confidence in God
*his love for people – he genuinely enjoyed people
*good food – especially very good green chili
*strong coffee – he would always say that weak coffee makes you sick 🙂
*encouragement – my dad always told me that I was going to make it
So I miss my dad & I’m extremely grateful that my Heavenly Father is enjoying my dads company 🙂
Greetings & happy Wednesday to you!
One of the things I really love about blogging, fb, twitter, etc is how interactive we can be!! I love getting to see your input & thoughts – they’re often extremely insightful, encouraging, challenging & helpful! With this in mind, I’m working on a sermon about prayer that I’ll be giving in a week or so & I’m really keen to know of any books, websites, testimonies, resources, etc that have been helpful to you in relation to prayer. So, please, please, please, leave me a comment, some advice with resources, websites, etc – thanks in advance for helping me to be more successful from your input! 🙂
Sometimes it seems like I get in impossible situations. Some situations seem virtually hopeless & like they’re a total dead end. In these times, I feel like one of God’s main goals is to help me learn to trust God more & better. So here are some things that help me to trust God & maybe they can help you (feel free to add stuff that has helped you as well):
*keeping my focus on God works better than focusing on the impossibility (Ps 25:15)
*reading Bible stories about how God has overcome impossible situations (David & Goliath, Paul in the storm – Acts 27-28 & others)
*encouraging others in their efforts to trust God
*recounting God’s faithfulness to me over the years
*remembering God’s character – genuine love trumps all
Last night was one of the coolest evenings I’ve had in several years. Our church joined with 2 other churches to have a worship might with all 3 congregations. There were lots of things I thoroughly loved about the evening & probably my top favorite things are:
*unity – Jesus prayed when He was on earth that our Father would make us one like He & the Father are one. Experiencing some of the unity that Jesus prayed for was magnificent!
*worship versus performance – I totally loved getting to participate with my heart, soul, body & emotions to lift up Jesus, rather than sitting & watching excellent & skilled musicians make beautiful music
*fellowship – there’s nothing that can compete with genuine spiritual fellowship & communion with brothers & sisters in Christ – such rich heart food
What a great honor to lift up Jesus with other whole hearted believers!!
There are zillions of times in my life where I’ve asked God for specific things or to move in specific ways. And sometimes these requests have been answered positively. Other times I’ve seen God answer or move in different ways than my specificity. Thankfully, I find that God always answers & when I trust God, I know that Their (Trinity) answers are the best – better often than my specific requests. Which brings me to the version Isaiah that says God’s ways & thoughts are higher than my ways / thoughts. These things help me to grow in not only my trust in God, but also they help me to deepen my intimacy with God – the best thing of all 🙂